Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Zen Dayley: The two politicians behind 'Taxpayer Field'

One knows better than to hope those two New York city councillors will succeed in having the name of the New York Mets' new stadium changed to Citi/Taxpayer Field.

Citigroup, the title sponsor, is getting a huge U.S. federal bailout, so it's only sporting if the stadium bore the name of the people who might actually be paying for the 20-year, $400 million US bailout. Yours truly's batting average on these matters is really poor, but it probably won't happen, unless Citigroup completely collapses.

It is not the time for the seventh billionth rant about how governments should not be building massive stadiums for professional teams. This does not apply when it's a team you root for and you live outside the city in question, of course. It is fun to poke around Google for some background one the two New York pols. If James Oddo's name sounds familiar, he is a baseball nut who was behind the campaign to ban metal bats from high school leagues in New York City. He and the other councillor, Vincent Ignizio, are also involved in a lawsuit against New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg over his attempt to renege on a property-tax rebate.

Ignizio is a first-termer, who just turned 34 years old, and along with being involved in litigation against a billionaire mayor, he's also one of the lowest earners among councillors in New York.

Along with the metal bat crusade, Oddo has another claim to fame ...

Of course, that only makes Mr. Oddo more awesome. Whatever side someone that intense takes, you'd best be taking it. Taxpayer Field? Sounds good. Who knows, maybe they'll get somewhere with this, because if we're ever going to get rid of the scourge of these huge taxpayer-funded arenas and stadiums for huge corporations, it will probably start with younger politicians on both sides of the political spectrum.

Sentiment growing against Mets/Citigroup deal (Eddie D'Anna, Staten Island Advance)

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